Ko hoping for special birthday present

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DALY CITY, Calif. – Lydia Ko is having a birthday party with family and friends Sunday night in San Francisco, and she wouldn’t mind if it were a victory party, too.

Ko, though, knows she has a giant task in front of her Sunday trying to win the Swinging Skirts Classic for a third consecutive time.

Ko, who turns 19 on Sunday, trails Haru Nomura by six shots. She knows how hard Nomura can be to catch. Ko was one shot behind Nomura going into the final round of the Women’s Australian Open in February. Though Ko shot a 67, she still lost to Nomura by three shots.


Full-field scores from the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic


“I've just got to stay positive,” Ko said of the challenge. “It’s my birthday, anyway, so there's a lot more things that I can think about and smile about. I'm just going to enjoy it. It's been really cool to even have the chance to be close to the three-peat, so I feel very fortunate with that, and hopefully tomorrow a few more putts will fall.”

Ko’s mother, father and sister are all with her this week for her birthday celebration.

“I can't party hard,” Ko cracked. “I'm still not legal for anything, so I'll just enjoy it. To me, family time is great.”